The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice announced this week that it will award the 2023 Lantos Human Rights Prize, its highest human rights honor, to distinguished Canadian human rights lawyer and former Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler.
Cotler — who currently serves as Canada’s Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism and is a member of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Advisory Board — will receive the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on October 24.
Past recipients honored for their human rights advocacy include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the late Professor Elie Wiesel, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, founder of the Magnitsky movement Bill Browder, and ex-NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom, among notable figures.
Cotler, who was close with the Lantos Foundation’s namesake, the late Congressman Tom Lantos, stated, “I am deeply humbled and honored to be counted among the ranks of Lantos Prize laureates. It is especially moving for me as I had the pleasure to know and work with Congressman Lantos — a towering figure in the world of human rights who has inspired my own work — and to work in common cause with the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice.”
Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett — president of the Lantos Foundation — said, “The Lantos Foundation is deeply honored to bestow the Lantos Human Rights Prize on a person of Professor Cotler’s stature in the human rights movement — he is, quite simply, a giant in the human rights world.”
“Over the past many decades when individuals around the world have been denied their fundamental human rights, Professor Cotler has been there on the front lines, defending those who have been left defenseless,” she noted. “Though he is modest to a fault, he has had an outsized and undeniable impact on human rights throughout the world. Despots and dictators surely tremble when they hear that Irwin Cotler has taken up the causes of their political prisoners because there is no one more effective than he at winning freedom for the unjustly imprisoned. I know my late father Congressman Tom Lantos would be delighted to see such a worthy recipient receive the Prize named in his honor.”
For more information on the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, please visit: lantosfoundation.org